Siting: Greenfield Development
High performance building principles discourage the development of greenfields. Greenfields include previously undeveloped land, restored land, agricultural properties, and parks. These areas have high ecological, social, and community values. In addition, often the development of greenfields increases sprawl, making school commutes longer, and therefore increasing the energy consumption required to keep the school functioning.
Alternatives to greenfield development include redevelopment of current buildings, urban infill, and brownfield development. Redeveloping current buildings has a number of benefits, including the opportunity to reuse all or part of old buildings (thus saving on labor and materials, and trips to the landfill) and reduction of costs for grading, parking areas, and transportation infrastructure. Urban infill can create a school that is centrally located and available to the surrounding community.
Brownfield development is the development of a site that has been previously contaminated or contains potentially hazardous materials. Federal funds can help to pay for the cleanup of such sites, and the development of such sites can have positive benefits for both the environment and the surrounding community.
Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS)
(Best Practices Manual Volume 2, Site Planning Section, Guideline SP4: Landscape Design &Management & BPM Volume 2: Introduction to Guidelines Section, Goals and Cross-cutting Issues, Ecosystem Protection) CHPS aims to facilitate the design of high performance schools in California - environments that are not only resource efficient, but also healthy, comfortable, well lit and contain the amenities needed for a quality education. CHPS has developed a set of Best Practices Manuals (available at www.CHPS.net) to create a new generation of high performance school facilities in California.
California Pollution Control Financing Authority (CPCFA)- California Recycle Underutilized Sites (Cal ReUSE) Program
This program assists with the reuse and redevelopment of underutilized properties with real or perceived contamination issues (brownfields). It provides forgivable loans to fund site assessment and characterization, technical assistance, remedial action plans and site access.
The Brownfields Non-Profits Network
The Brownfields Non-Profits Network is a network of non-profit organizations helping to promote the redevelopment of Brownfield properties throughout the United States. The web site assists community groups and other organizations to find out more about what they can do with abandoned contaminated sites and where they can get help in their efforts.
Internet portal to brownfields and urban redevelopment news, resources and information.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) - Brownfields Program
EPA's Brownfields Program Website contains information on incentives, legislation, laws, insurance best practices and much more.
A comprehensive source for brownfields news and information.
Department of Toxic Substances Control - Brownfields Reuse Program
DTSC has integrated existing programs and developed a number of new tools to facilitate reuse of brownfields properties, all of which can be found on this site.